Monday, January 14, 2013

June 2012 - Gavin's Last Month as an Only Child

As my due date approached, it seemed as though we were been busier than ever trying to get everything prepared for our new bundle of joy.

I felt some guilt during this pregnancy because, unlike my pregnancy with Gavin, I didn't have time to truly enjoy being pregnant.  From the time I learned I was pregnant in November, the holidays were upon us and, right after the new year, I started student teaching.  Student teaching lasted four months and during that time, I was so busy lesson planning and finishing up exams and school work, I didn't have time to truly focus on my pregnancy.  I was also squeezing in trips to the obstetrician and other pregnancy-related exams.  It was a very busy time!

Gavin visiting my 2nd grade class in January - he even participated in a lesson!
Student teaching was the final step before my credential was complete (but it also meant that I had to complete TPA #3 and #4, two long and intense teaching exams).  I knew that I wanted to complete my credential prior to the birth of baby #2 because I knew that it would only get harder to do with two little ones at home.  So, I started student teaching in a 2nd grade classroom in January through the end of February and completed TPA #3 during that time - and passed!!  Hooray!  Then, in March, I moved to a different school to student teach in a 4th grade classroom and also completed (and passed!) TPA #4.  Hooray again!  Finishing my teaching credential (while pregnant) was such a big accomplishment and I was so very thankful to finally be done.

One of the worksheets I made for my 4th grade math lesson
Overall, my student teaching experience was wonderful.  I was lucky enough to be with two very caring and supportive teachers who I continue to keep in contact with.  I was a bit discouraged, however, because teaching itself was not quite what I had imagined it to be.  Although, I think that may have had to do with a combination of being pregnant and hormonal, being a perfectionist, and being unsatisfied with the curriculum and class requirements.  I guess there's no need to explain why being pregnant played a role in my overall attitude and emotions during student teaching.  And being a perfectionist just added to my stress because I felt every lesson had to be perfect.  I wanted every child to be engaged and every lesson to be the most amazing lesson the students had ever had.  Realistically, I knew that wasn't going to happen.  But it sounded great in theory.  I also added stress to myself by bringing the Teacher's Manuals home each night and hoping to have time to read every single item for the following day until it was engrained in my brain and I could recite it by memory.  Well, since Matt works nights and I was home alone with Gavin, that rarely--if ever--happened.  In addition, I was unsatisfied with the fact that the students did language arts nearly all day, save for an hour or two of mathematics and some physical education.  This was not how I remembered school.  We did science, social studies, art, language arts, mathematics, physical education, and other subjects equally.  The Teacher's Manuals didn't help, either.  They listed exactly what the teacher is to do and say at certain points.  They even offer possible answers that the students "should" give.  It all just seemed very strange to me.  There didn't seem to be a lot of room for creative thinking.  And the schedule also bothered me.  At the second grade level, the students switched classes twice a day - once based on their ability level and another time based on their language level.  At one point during the day, the class I was in would have 40 second grade students!  It was especially difficult since the students can change levels throughout the year and I didn't know most of their names.  This made discipline and classroom management very difficult with that group.  Anyway, I am trying not to be too discouraged since teaching has been my dream job since I was in elementary school.  I am determined to make a difference and try to find ways to incorporate creativity and fun into my classroom (when teaching jobs finally become available, that is).  Grrr...  Oh well, I guess that's enough about that.

3D Picture of our sweet boy!  He looks just like Gavin!
As my student teaching came to an end, I was finally able to breathe and think about the arrival of Baby #2 (who still did not have a name at this point, but we did know that we were having another boy!).  The month of May brought two special celebrations: Mother's Day and my 30th birthday!  I felt so excited knowing that I would be a mother of two wonderful boys for my next Mother's Day.  For my birthday, my sweet Gavin told me that morning, "Daddy and I got you a surprise for your birthday today, but I can't you what it is.  We got it at the jewelry store."  I had specifically asked for a second pair of diamond earrings with real gold posts (for my second hole) since my ears can no longer take the cheap posts from the mall stores I shopped at in my teens and early twenties.  Darn!  So, I had an idea about what I going to receive.  Ha!  I love my sweet boy.  It was an great birthday and I felt so thankful to spend it with my sweet little family.

Gavin washing the Tahoe
Gavin and his chocolate mustache (a party favor from my cousin's baby shower - due one day after me!)
Gavin and his best friend, Kadem, pumping some iron
Gavin working out
The month of June brought quite a bit of anxiety.  I worried that my sweet Gavin would feel that he wasn't getting the attention he was used to.  For the first 3-1/2 years of his life, he was used to being the sole recipient of all of our attention and that was about to change.  He would now share that love and attention with his baby brother.  And with the amount of care a new baby requires, I just worried that Gavin would feel left out.  I was hoping and praying that that would not happen, as it would just break my heart.  In addition to that, I also wondered, would I have enough love for another baby?  It sounds awful to say, but I have such an incredible, unconditional love for my sweet Gavin, it seemed crazy to think that I could love another child just as much.  But talking to other parents, I knew I wasn't alone.  It is a common worry among parents having a second child.  I remember my mom telling me, "Do you think I love you and your sisters any less than I love your brother?"  Of course not.  But that didn't seem to ease my anxiety any.

Gavin playing with a roly poly in an outfit he selected himself
Playing with the crane he got for his birthday
He loves his big alphabet puzzle
Browning the meat for dinner
He loves the car play mat he got from Grandpa and Grandma S
The result of Gavin's first haircut from SuperCuts
The month of June was also time to try to finish up the nursery so that our sweet baby would have a place of his own where he would get his diapers and clothing changed, and eventually sleep at night.  For the first three months, at least, he would be sleeping in the bassinet right beside our bed.  As the month draws to an end, I am extremely excited for the moment when my sweet...wait for it...JAXON will be placed in my arms.  Yes, we finally chose a name and went with an untraditional spelling for a couple reasons.  First, I wanted both boys' names to be five letters and end with an "n," and second, I am not fond of the name "Jack" but I love "Jax."  I know some people also keep the "s" and spell it "Jaxson;" however, I believe the "x" replaces the "cks" so to me, the "s" makes it seem like it would be pronounced as two separate words "Jax-son."  I'm sure I'm over-thinking it...

Soon enough our little family of three would be a family of four and I couldn't have been any more excited!!  I couldn't wait to hold my sweet little Jaxon!

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